Tag Archives: ECONOMY

The Week Ahead, March 16 – 20, 2009.

Weekly Recap (March 9 – 13, 2009):  TaurusTrader’s prophecy to begin the week, ” ….  expect some bounce up for the markets this week ……. planning on exploiting any  ‘bounce ups’ as and when they happen …..”, did indeed come true.  It was not pretty to begin with on Monday, but Gosh, things changed in a hurry … when the rally started, it did not waste any time …. it just took off.  All major indices had substantial gains not seen in a while.  It was the kind of rally, no matter what you call – a bear market rally, reversal rally, short cover rally, Obama rally, anti-Obama rally, Bank CEOs rally, Stewart-Cramer rally, etc etc etc, that the TaurusTrader was waiting patiently, totally planned with right picks, and pounced on for profits! Please refer to my blog posts through out the week for details.  I hope you did well too.

For the week, Dow traded in 800 point range (6440 to 7243) to close at 7224 and gained an impressive 597 points or 9%.  S&P gained 10.7% or 73 points to close at 756.6 (range 673 to 758), a close above November 21 low of 741.  The tech heavy Nasdaq market gained 10.6% or 138 points for the week  closing at 1432 (range 1266 to 1434).

Major worries about the stability and viability of major banks were somewhat abated by upbeat statements by CEO’s Vikram Pandit of City, Jamie Dimon of JPM, and Ken Lewes of BAC – all indicated that their banks are lending and making profits!  Even though, the GE credit was downgraded by a notch to AA+, it did not hurt as the market was expecting even worse.  So, GE gained, instead of losing ground!  More importantly, the Obama administration has started talking ‘coherently’ and in unison about their plans for rescuing financial institutions and fixing economy.  Congressional hearing about modifications in mark to market accounting practice to deal with toxic assets on balance sheet of financial institutions, and SEC’s inclination to bring back the ‘uptick’ rule for shorting stocks, also added fuel to the rally. 

TaurusTrader’s swing portfolio had a fantastic week.  Five positions hit their profit targets within a short holding period of 1 to 5 days. 

  1. WFC bought on Marck 9, sold on March 10 for 29.2% gain
  2. BIGCC (BIG April 15 call), bought on March 6, sold on March 11 for 70% gain
  3. WDC, bought on March 10, sold on March 12 for 11.8% gain
  4. MS bought on March 10, sold on March 11 for 20.1% gain
  5. JOYG bought on March 10, and sold on March 11 for 8.3% gain

None of the positions stopped out this week.

Because of wide intra-day price swings, we had several reccurring  profitable day trade opportunities throughout the week with our day trade picks – MON, AGU, IPI, SYT, BAC, WFC, MS, HP, HPQ,  FAS and MELI.  I had mentioned several of those trades in my daily posts.

Week Ahead, March 16 – 20:  Please do not kid yourself.  No matter what you hear from experts on CNBC, we are still in a historic bear market.  Negativism still exists, and is likely to persist for a while about the health of our economy, viability of financial institutions, political squabbling, etc.  Even in bear market, we get some burst of enthusiasm and positive uptrend periodically, like the one we got last week.  It usually is very fast and very violent!  Now you see it, you feel it, but the very next moment it is gone heading in the other direction … even faster!!  So, as I said before, be patient and be prepared to exploit those kind of movements as and when they happen.

I expect the markets to swing widely based on ‘instant news’.  There’s a lot of scheduled events that could move the markets in a blink.  It would be interesting to see how the markets would react to the ‘weekend news events’  – Ben Bernanke’s appearance on 60 minutes, OPEC’s decision to hold the oil out put steady, meeting of G-20 finance ministers, and contradictory statements made by Obama’s honchos on the health of economy at their news media circus acts!  

I liked Ben Bernanke on 60 minutes.  Thought he was forthright and heading in the right direction.  He was emphatic in asserting that the recession could end in 2009, and no big banks would fail under his watch.  Of course, there were caveats – the ‘political will’, mostly the lack of it and how soon the finanacial system can be stabilized.  In all, no harm done with this highly anticipated event!

Tim Geithnet did OK at the G-20 meeting …. No harm done here either!

OPEC’s decision to not to cut production came as a surprise that might affect energy stocks at the open on Monday.  As I write this, the crude was down by over 4% in Asian session.

Financial stocks might continue with their momentum from last week.  A few hours ago, the CEO of HSBC announced that his bank would not ask for British government bailout.  Banking stocks in Asia were responding positively to this news, as well as to the news from G-20 meeting of coordinated efforts to stem world financial crisis.

Economic calendar is busy for the week including some important releases –

  • Monday – Empire State Mfg Survey (consensus – 32.00); Industrial Production (consensus, -1.2% month to month); Bernanke speaks.
  • Tuesday – Housing Starts (consensus 450 K); Producers Price Index (PPI); FOMC meeting begins
  • Wednesday – Consumers Price Index (CPI); EIA petroleum stats; FOMC meeting announcement
  • Thursday – Jobless claims (654K); Leading Indicators (-0.6%); Philly Fed Survey (-38.0)
  • Friday – Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks

For complete economic calendar for the week, please visit:


On the earnings front, 93 companies are scheduled to confess their quarterly earnings this week.  For complete list, please visit:


Some anticipated confessions are –

  • Monday – SINA, SBLK
  • Tuesday – ADBE, CSIQ, GES
  • Wednesday – CLC, DRI, NKE, ORCL
  • Thursday – BKS, PLCE, CRAI, FDX, WGO

At the beginning of the week, TaurusTrader’s swing portfolio contained following positions:

  1. RY- filled on March 13 @ $27.70, Friday’s close @ 27.65.  Unrealized gain -0.1%.  Target 30.50.  Stop $25.60.
  2. MBT – filled on March 13 @ $28.35, Friday’s close @ 28.40.  Unrealized gain 0.1%.  Target 33.10.  Stop $24.30.
  3. FCN – filled on March 12 @ $47.80, Friday’s close $47.63.  Unrealized gain -0.2%.  Target $52.00.  Stop $45.15
  4. MDR – filled on March 12 @ $13.40, Friday’s close $13.98. Unrealized gain 4.1%.  Target $16.00.  Stop raised to $12.90
  5. CPRT – filled on March 10 @ $27.60, Friday’s close $29.43. Unrealized gain of  6.7%.  Target $30.30.  Stop raised to $27.50
  6. WDCDV (WDC April 12.50 call) – filled on March 6 @ <$3.00, today’s close $4.90, gain 63%.  Target $6.00.  Stop raised to $4.00
  7. SOHU – filled on March 10 @ $46.17, Friday’s close $48.66.  Unrealized gain 5.1%.  Target $50.50.  Stop raised to $46.00
  8.  BMC – filled on February 24 @ $29.46, Friday’s close $29.74.  Unrealized gain 1.0%.  Target $32.00.  Stop $27.49

I’ve raised the ‘stop loss’ for WDCDV, SOHU, CPRT, and MDU to protect profits and/or to reduce losses.

Picks for Monday, March 16:  Based on the news events over the weekend discussed above, I will be watching financial and transportation sector stocks on Monday.  I will also be watching the earnings release from SINA, and for possible price action to the report.  The stocks for swing trading are –

  • WFC – buy above $14.10.  Target $16.20.  Stop 11.30 (Risky and very volatile, adjust your stop to your risk tolerance)
  • AMR – buy above $3.70.  Target $4.85 (50%), and $6.20 (50%).  Stop 2.80 (you could also consider DAL or CAL)

I’ll be looking at the following for day trade opportunities:  FAS, BAC, MS, ITRI, MELI, ITRI and SINA (on earnings!).  Their chart patterns and volatility look interesting!

If there are questions or comments, please do post …..

Have a great week and happy trading.



Stocks to Focus for Tuesday, 03-03-2009

Monday’s recap:  First day of trading in March began on a wrong foot.  Major averages ended in deep red for four straight days.  Navigating this market is like  ‘chinese water torture’.  You know you are going to survive, but never know when the suffering ends …. you wait, wait, and wait in agony! 

Monday’s losses were very steep and wide spread.   All 30 Dow stocks declined, over 98% of S&P components ended in red, so did all 10 groups of S&P .  There were no places to run, and hardly any place to hide.   Dow shed about 300 points (4.2%) to close at  6763, and Nasdaq lost a hefty 55 points (4%) to close at  1323.  S&P took a haircut by 35 points (4.7 %) and closed at 700.89, a level not seen since October, 1998.  Crude lost 11.6% to end at 40.15 dragging the energy sector down by 6.4%.  Financials (6.8%), materials (6.9%), and industrials (6.4%) also saw deep losses.  Even gold, considered a safe bet,  fell 0.3% finishing at $940 an ounce. 

The largest corporate loss in US history in a quarter of over $60 billion by AIG spooked the market and intensified the fear about the health of financials, again.   Basically, AIG lost over half a million dollars a minute during the 4th quarter.  Unbelievable!!! Uncle Sam decided to inject another $30 billion in to AIG hoping to stem the bleeding.  There was also bad news from across the pond with another banking giant HSBC reporting lower profits, and announcing drastic measures to bolster its books.  These followed the news late last week of Uncle Sam’s decision to own 36% of Citigroup and drastically diluting the City common shares.  Bad news after bad news is hitting  nation’s biggest  financial institutions real hard.

Monday’s economic data failed to inspire investor sentiment.  January personal income and spending were better than expected. The February ISM Manufacturing Index was also a couple of points better than expected and came in at 35.8, up slightly from 35.6 in January. Even though the  reading remained below 50, there’s a slight indication that the rate of contraction has slowed. 

Regarding TaurusTrader portfolio, we got stopped out of UYG (-12%), and CMG (-6.5%).  As of Monday, the portfolio holds PBR and BMC.  We came close to adding ORBC, but were not able to add any new stocks today. 

Stocks to focus for Tuesday, March 3:  The market is broiled with extreme pessimism.  Even, Warren Buffet expressed pessimism for markets through 2009 in the newsletter sent to his share holders.  Traders will be watching the all important S&P at 700.  If S&P breaches this all important round number, there’s no support in sight till the next round number at 600.  Traders will also be watching the release of January pending home sales data tomorrow morning. Fed Chairman Bernanke will testify on the U.S. economy and budget before the Senate Budget Committee tomorrow.  Also, the Treasury Secretary Geithner is coming out of hiding to testify before the House Ways and Means Committee on the federal budget.  I hope that these two will provide some “ray of hope” for the markets to latch on.  I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed! 

I’ll be watching to add the following equities to TaurusTrader portfolio:

1.  PALM – enter above $7.70, stop at 7.00, target $9.25

2.  THRX – enter above 14.48, stop at $13.60, target $16.65

Bear market rally is possible at any time with a whiff of any good news.  During and after testimonies by Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner, the financials may take wide swings and provide some opportunity for profitable day trading.  I would prefer WFC, BAC, and MS.

I’ll also focus on some retail stocks – ARO, BKE, FDO, and BIG, heading in to same store data to be released later this week.

Please do post if you have comments or questions ….

Have a great day!



Good Riddance, February …. March on to March.

February was a disaster for markets to put it bluntly. Despite some resiliency at times, any hope for a rebound was dashed in the last week. It was the worst February since 1933. Major averages dropped through a series of long term lows. For the month, S&P lost 10.9% to close at 735.09, and Dow lost 11.7% to close at 7062.9. Dow has fallen steadily (- 38%) for 6 months in a row. However, Nasdaq is still holding the November 21,2008 low of 1295.5, and it closed at 1377.84. For the first two months of this year, Dow is down by 19.5%, S&P by 18.6%. Nasdaq is a little better, but still down by 12%.

It was a bad Friday, the last day of trading in February. Bad news came from all directions. Before the open, news came out that Uncle Sam would own 36% of City (C) effectively diluting current share holder value to just 26% of the company. Then came the worst GDP data (-6.2%) since 1982, indicating a deeper contraction in the economy than originally announced. And, on top later in the day, GE announced that it would slash dividend to 10 cents from 31 cents in order to preserve about 9 billion in capital and to maintain AAA credit rating. This action is the first for GE which had maintained or increased its dividend for 32 consecutive years. This spooked the market even further. 36 companies in S&P have cut their dividends in the past 6 months. Many more are likely to follow in the next few months as companies are trying whatever they can to preserve capital and survive this economic down turn.

Let the “March Madness” begin …. I believe that ‘volatility’ will be again the name of the game. There is still a lot of uncertainty about the direction of the market. Markets are in extremely oversold condition and want to bounce up with any whiff of good news. But, any good news is hard to come by. The political rhetoric in DC is not helping out a bit. It looks like ‘traders’ have revolted against the proposed policies of President Obama’s administration. Market is worried about the sweeping unprecedented changes proposed in health care, education and energy policies. Questions about the health of nation’s biggest financial institutions are still murky despite the government action with City (C) last week. Worries about toxic assets on their balance sheet still plague the markets. Many market pundits are predicting another leg down as a path of least resistance.

March will begin with a flood of economic data in the first week. Expect significant volatility and wide swings within a short period of time as the markets try to digest numbers. Some important economic data scheduled for release during the week are –

Source: http://bloomberg/markets/ecalendar/index.html

Monday – Personal income; ISM manufacturing index; Construction spending
Tuesday – Motor vehicle sales; pending home sales
Wednesday – ADP employment; ISM non-manufacturing; Beige book; crude inventory
Thursday – chain store sales; jobless claims; productivity and costs; factory orders;
Friday – Unemployment and non-farm pay roll; consumer credit.

Apart from these, also watch for Fed chief Ben Bernanke, who is scheduled to appear before senate budget committee on Tuesday morning.

On Earnings front, about 240 companies, including 8 members of S&P are scheduled to report.  

Source: http://www.zacks.com/commentary/10168/Earnings+Preview+for+Mar+2+-+6.

I would be keeping an eye on the following companies –

Tuesday – AZO, ARD, SSW,
Wednesday – BJ, COST, URS, MATK, MR, PETM, AUY
Friday – HRB

TaurusTrader portfolio recap – We were very conservative in our picks, as well as in our stops and profit targets. Despite the market downturn, our portfolio had a decent week. As I said before, who cares what the overall market does … we don’t. What we care is how our ‘picks’ do!! Please check my blog entry on February 24 – Is this the bottom … I don’t care, so shouldn’t you. We pick the ‘right’ stock to trade using our research and best judgement. So, because of this philosophy within a short period of time (1 to 4 days), we booked tidy profits with our ‘swing’ picks – C (av. 30%), SWHC (30.7%), MS (11.7%) and MELI (11.3%). We were stopped out of DRI (-8.1%)and ATHN (-6.2%).  We still hold UYG, CMG, PBR, and BMC, which are either up or down by 1 to 3% for the week. ADM and SVR failed to hit our target entry price, hence were not filled.

The day trade picks suggested throughout the week (BAC, UYG, WFC, MS, IPI, SYT, SU, HP, MON, HPQ) provided excellent intraday volatility to pocket any where from 2 to 13% within a day depending on ones entry and closing targets. However, two picks – WDC and AGU did not turn out well.

Picks for Monday, March 2: I’ll be on a ‘holding’ pattern. I’ll monitor my longs carefully, and follow with predetermined stops. On my day trade picks, I will be conservative and at the same time very nimble. In might even liquidate profitable positions even before they hit my profit target if the markets start to turn against me. I’ll protect my profit. If I liked a stock so much, there will be chances to reenter at a later time. If not, there are always other equities with a greater probability for a favorable outcome.

Following equities are on my watch list for Monday, March 2:

Drop ADM from ‘add’ list per my rule. It did not hit the “entry limit” of $28.50 within being on the list for 3 days.

ORBC – Buy above 2.07, stop 1.69, target 2.50 (very volatile, reports on 3/16/2009).
SWHC – will be releasing earnings on 3/2/2009. Would re-enter on a good earnings report.

Retail sector will be in focus next week. RTH had a good day on Friday. Same store data is due on 3/5/2009. I expect, some members of this group to gain some more momentum heading in to the data release. I’ll be watching ARO and BKE. These the two teen retailers have consistently reported good same store sale numbers in the past. I’ll also watch for movements in BIG and FDO, which are looking good technically.

As in last week, Ag and energy sector stocks will be the focus for day trade opportunities. The equities include – MON, AGU, SYT, MOS, IPI, SU, and HP. I would closely follow the crude price when I’m trading these stocks. They tend to move in tandem with crude, especially the ETF’s DIG or USO on intraday basis.

MELI hit our profit target of $16.80 on Friday. The stock is still riding on its earnings momentum. I may consider re-entering MELI above $17.15, to a profit target of 19.25.

As usual, if there are questions, please do post …. Let us help each other profit from good trading ideas!

Please watch out for volatility ….

Wish you a very pleasant and profitable day



STOCKS TO FOCUS – Wednesday 02-25-2009

Tuesday’s recap –What one single person can do to the market confidence?  Quite a bit indeed.  It was Helicopter Ben’s 4-hour long testimony on monitory policies to senate finance committee that brought some excitement and positive sentiment back in to the market, at least for a day!  Gosh … it was sorely needed.  I believe this excitement should continue for few more days.  President Obama’s address to joint congressional members should also help calm the jittery market as more details on economic stimulus and banking sector stability plans start emerging.  I listened to the President’s speech.  I liked the rare upbeat tone of our president. 

Almost all sectors ended the day in positive territory, with the exception of Gold and Gold stocks.  Dow picked up almost every point it lost on Monday to close at 7350.94 (+3.32%).  Nasdaq went up by 3.9%  to close at 1441.83, and S&P jumped 4.1% to 773.14.  Even though the overall trend is still bearish, it was definitely a good day for bulls.

Our picks had a nice day too.  We achieved our targets with 2 picks – C and SWHC.  I sold 50% of C at 2.53, my first target for a 24.6% profit in less than 3 trading days.   SWHC was even better.  I closed SWHC at $3.75 for a 30.7% profit within 24 hours.  Our day trade picks UYG and MS had a phenominal day with over 10% gains.  Other picks – DRI, CMG, ATHN, BMC, gained a little or stayed flat.  SVR did not hit the ‘buy limit’, hence was not bought.

At the end of Tuesday, I have the following  positions still open that I discussed in the blog – C (50%), DRI, CMG, ATHN, BMC, UYG, and MS. 

Picks for Wednesday – I expect the positive momentum to continue with the financials.  I’ll ride my financial picks – C, UYG, and MS with tight stops.  Will also consider WFC and BAC for day trading, with a profit target of 5 to 10%.   Technology sector started to pick up some momentum toward the end of the day on Tuesday.  I’ll be watching some technology stocks like HPQ and WDC, and also our Tuesday’s pick  BMC. 

As I said earlier, there were some positive ‘stimulus’ for the markets in President Obam’s speech.  Infrastructure, cutting edge technology, financials, and education, especially those that provide educational loans – are the beneficiaries of Obama’s plan.  I do not like infrastructure plays at this point.  I already have some financial and technology stocks in my portfolio.  I would like to focus on ‘educational loan’ companies like STU and SLM and see how they react tomorrow.

Following are my picks for Wednesday, February 25, 2009

1.  PBR – Buy above 27.05,   Stop at 25.00,  Target 30.50 ( you could also write March 30 calls, and collect some premium)

2.  MELI – Buy above 14.90,  Stop at 14.50, Target 16.80 (Earnings play and a possible day trade candidate)

3.  ADM – Buy above 28.50, Stop at 26.50, Target 34.00 (somewhat volatile)

4.  SVR – Buy above 15.80, Stop at 14.25, and Target 19.00 (Pick from Tuesday, 02/24/09)

Stocks on the radar – MON AGU IPI SLM STU HPQ WDC.  I’ll let you know as soon as I spot any trading opportunity with these stocks.

Have a great Wednesday …. and happy trading.


STOCKS TO FOCUS – Tuesday 02-24-2009

Monday’s recap – It was another brutal day for the market with Dow losing 3.4% closing at 7114.78 (-250.89), Nasdaq lost 3.71% ending the day at 1387.72 (-53.51), and S&P was chopped by 3.47% closing at 743.33 (-26.72).  The bank nationalization fear which haunted the market all of last week appeared to have ebbed, and therefore, the financials performed somewhat better than the overall market.  However, there was bloodshed in most other sectors, notably agriculture, mining, energy, and materials. 

It was a mixed day for our picks.  The day started off promising, and all our picks had a good momentum early in the day.  However, as the day progressed, a couple of picks stated sagging a bit.  MS, DRI and CMG ended the day better than the overall market with less than 3%  decline.  UYG surprisingly lost about 7%.  C and SWHC ended in solid green with a gain of over 10%.  C at one time came very close to our first target ($2.53), and was up over 25% or as high as  $2.48.

Picks for Tuesday – I expect the financials to pick up a little more steam tomorrow.  JPM came out after market close on Monday and announced a 87% cut in the dividend to preserve capital, and also expressed a desire to payoff the TARP money as soon as possible.  It looks like the market liked this announcement.  JPM was advancing in after market hours as I write this post. 

I will be watching all my picks from yesterday – C, MS, UYG, SWHC, DRI, and CMG, and follow them with tight stops.

For Tuesday, my picks are –

1.  ATHN – buy above 34.32, Target at 38.00, and Stop at 32.20

2. BMC – buy above 29.46, Target at 32.00, and Stop at 27.49

3. SVR – buy above 15.80, Target at 19.00, and Stop at 14.25

My day trade picks again are the financials – C, WFC and MS.

If there are questions, please do post ….

Have a good trading …


Stocks to Focus – Monday 02-23-2009

I will be watching the following stocks on Monday, February 23.  Always use a stop comfortable to your situation. 

DRI – buy above 28.55, Target 30.00. 

SWHC – Buy above 2.87, Target 3.75 (very volatile, somewhat risky).

CMG – buy above 55.91, Target 63.00

Apart from these, I will be watching the financials all through the day.  Best bet is UYG (ultra financial ETF) day trade.  It closed at 2.20 on Friday.  If there’s a good news from the fed about bank rescue plan, this ETF should gap up in the morning!  As I write this article, there appeared a rumor that the Fed will be increasing its stake in City.  Tokyo market was responding favorably to this rumor.  Morgan Stanley (MS) is another stock that I would be looking to day trade.  I have had a lot of success day trading MS because of high volatility. 

UYG – buy above 2.25, Target 2.75 and higher

MS – buy above 20.15, Target above 22.50

Good luck trading …. If there are questions, please do post.